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Hainan Province Criticized for Plans to Create “Internet Zone for Foreign Tourists”

According to Securities Times Online, Hainan Province recently introduced a Three-Year-Plan (from 2018 to 2020) to improve the Hainan Tourist Business using international standards. The goal is to increase foreign tourism by 25 percent and reach over two million tourists by 2020. The Plan would also create a special Internet zone for foreign tourists in cities like Haikou and Sanya and allow them to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The news caused anger among Internet users in China. They criticized the Plan because it discriminates against Chinese citizens and uses a double standard to treat Chinese citizens as second class citizens. The link to the Plan can no longer be found on the official website of Hainan Province ( and an article that the published on this topic was also disabled. According to an article that Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, the Plan will advertise Hainan tourism using WhatsApp and Wechat. It will also produce a Hainan tourism TV program to be aired on the BBC, CNN, and CNBC with over 2,000 minutes of air time.

The full article on the Plan can be found on

1. Security Times Online, June 22, 2018

2. RFA, June 22, 2018